Update: NBC News reporter Tom Winter has said Epstein was “not currently on suicide watch when he was found in his cell this morning.”
Jeffrey Epstein, the registered sex offender and millionaire financier facing trial for alleged sex trafficking, committed suicide in his Manhattan jail cell Saturday morning.
ABC News reported that three law enforcement officials confirmed the death to the outlet. The New York Times reported that Epstein had hanged himself and that his body was found Saturday morning around 7:30 a.m. NBC News reported that after Epstein was found, he was taken to a hospital in Lower Manhattan and arrived in cardiac arrest.
The suicide comes just three weeks after he was found injured in his cell. At that time, Epstein was found with marks around his neck, although it was not clear whether he had attempted suicide, made an attempt to get transferred to another prison, or was attacked by a fellow prisoner. Since the injury, Epstein reportedly had been on suicide watch. NBC News reported Saturday morning that Epstein was “not currently on suicide watch when he was found in his cell.”
In 2008, Epstein plead guilty to soliciting a minor and was ordered to register as a sex offender. He was arrested again in 2019 and charged with sex trafficking minors. Several weeks later — and one day before his first injuries — Epstein was reportedly served with new allegations from a woman who said the financier had raped her when she was 15 years old. The Daily Wire previously reported that Jennifer Araoz, now 33, claimed that she was leaving her New York City high school when she was approached by a woman who told her about a wealthy man she knew and suggested Araoz meet him. The woman, according to Araoz, accompanied her to Epstein’s mansion for the first few visits but once she stopped, Epstein began asking the young girl to “massage” him while wearing just her underwear.
Araoz said that Epstein paid her $300 for each massage, during which he “pleasur[ed] himself to completion,” NBC News reported. Eventually, Araoz said, Epstein raped her and she never returned to his home.
Friday night, transcripts were released of phone messages to Epstein discussing providing him young women. The New York Post reported that the transcripts were released as part of the defamation case against Epstein’s alleged recruiter. In the messages, modeling agency owner Jean Luc Brunel, spoke about finding women for Epstein. Other messages from unknown numbers also suggested they had found young women for Epstein.
“I have female for him,” said one message, which followed with: “want to know if she should bring her friend with tonight.”
Also on Friday, photos that were found during a raid on Epstein’s Palm Beach estate in 2005 were released. The New York Post reported that a Manhattan federal court judge described one photo in court papers as showing “the bare bottom of a girl who appears to be pre-pubescent.” Also included in the document dump was an Amazon receipt showing Epstein had purchased various books on sadomasochism.
Epstein’s suicide also comes just after he named several prominent Democrats as members of his alleged sex ring. Fox News reported that former Sen. George Mitchell and Bill Richardson, the former governor of New Mexico and a member of President Bill Clinton’s cabinet, were named.